Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
33 Black Friars Lane London EC4
Tel: 020 7213 0740
The pub is a remarkably adaptable sort of establishment and the notion of what constitutes a pub is a very broad church indeed. The first recorded example of the sub-species known as a gastro-pub was, by all accounts, The Eagle on Farringdon Road. A kitchen was installed behind the bar, serving good but simple home cooking (as opposed to prepared, bought-in dishes) at reasonable prices, usually with a good selection of wines by the glass. In reality, this is a more casual version of a restaurant, or perhaps an indigenous English brasserie.
With that definition in mind, The Evangelist is spreading the good news in an area of the City previously denied these glad tidings. By both accident and design, this is an attractive, deceptively large space. Although it occupies the ground floor of a new building, there are some twists and bends in the premises to accommodate the flats above, neatly avoiding the big open barn look so common to new pub design. Thereâs a long bar with a mosaic behind of St John the Evangelist, raised platforms with comfortable, old leather arm chairs, an appealingly louche, red alcove, school desks and chairs and some old cinema seats, all against neutral grey walls.
The food offering is nothing if not versatile and frequently changing. There are always interesting sandwiches on offer â roasted veg and goats cheese, homemade fish fingers, steak sandwich, burgers â with shoestring fries. There are platters for sharing â ribs and chicken or crab claws and prawn popcorn. And many of the mains come in large and small portions, such as fish cakes and pasta. Fish is a real speciality, changing daily. A goodly lump of well-roasted cod topped with chive crÃ¨me fraiche was served on aptly complementing sweet potato mash, three interlocking flavours that can each be described as sweet, in an unconventional sense. True to form, there are quite a lot of keenly priced, well-chosen wines available by the glass and staff are fairly confident about recommending. Desserts are superior nursery style â a wonderfully recherchÃ© baked Alaska and a rather confident coconut crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e, crackly-crusted on top, dreamy creamy inside. All in all, worth spreading the word about.